Victory Over Sin

Victory Over The Power Of Sin

Salvation is very simple. It is absolutely free to the believer. God saves us and makes us His sons, and He will one day take us to His house in Heaven to live with Him forever.

When He saves us He gives us a desire to read the Bible so we can learn more about Him and about life and how to enjoy life. As we read the Bible, we discover that there is far more to the Christian life than just getting into Heaven. Heaven is not the end we are trying to achieve in our Christian life. It is ours right up front at the very beginning.

Our focus can now be turned upon our real purpose in this life which is to glorify Christ and to win others to Him. As we attempt to do this we come face to face with the stark reality that, though we are saved, sin is still a force that must be reckoned with. It can ruin our testimonies and prevent us from achieving our purpose. Until we learn the truth and identify with the crucified life by applying the truth, we wage a hopeless battle trying to conquer sin.

When we think of the problem we have with sin after we are saved we begin to look for the cause and the solution to the problem.

A common explanation is that we have two natures residing in us. One is the new nature we receive at the new birth. The other is the old sin nature that remains even though we are saved. Romans chapter seven verses fourteen through twenty-five are interpreted as a model for the behaviour that results from the struggle between these two natures. According to this explanation, victory is won or lost depending on which nature we yield to.

Our daily experience proves without doubt that we have an on going struggle with sin, but the explanation given above does not fit what is actually revealed in the Scriptures

Before salvation it is certainly our nature to sin. Romans chapters one through three make it very clear that we are sinners by nature and that we can do nothing in our own power to change this. We must be changed by the power of God through the salvation He provides at the new birth.

But God does not describe this old nature as a sin nature but rather refers to it as the “old man,” “the body of sin” and “the flesh.” He tells us that we were by nature the children of wrath before salvation (Eph. 2:3). This is the only time He uses the term “nature” to describe our condition. A radical change takes place when He saves us. He then tells us that we are partakers of the divine nature (2 Pet. 1:4).

The radical change that takes place is that “our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin (Rom. 6:6); that we “are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you… (Rom. 8:9); that “…ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: (Col. 3:9-10); and “they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts (Gal. 5:24).

It is clearly stated that the “old man” has been removed and separated from us. Therefore, our problem with sin does not come from a resident old nature which can never be changed. The problem comes from enticements which are external through our senses. That is why we are instructed to, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world” (1 John 2:15-16). We do have a continuing problem with sin, but it is no longer our nature to sin.

We must correctly identify the problem and deal with it at that level if we are to truly have victory over sin. We must realize that in any given temptation we now have a clear choice whether we will sin; we can choose to commit the sin, or we can choose not to sin.

The removal of the “old man” does not place us in a state of sinless perfection. It sets us free so that we can clearly choose as was the case with Adam before the fall. As long as we are in this life we will face the possibility of committing sins.

Romans chapters six through eight give information and instruction on how to have victory over sin in our daily lives.

UNDERSTANDING AND APPLYING THE TRUTH

To rightly understand what God is saying to us, we must diligently work at making our beliefs fit the words of Scripture instead of trying to make the words fit our beliefs. This is not an easy task because we come to the Bible with theological prejudices. The task can be accomplished only as we yield our hearts and minds to the Holy Spirit Who will guide us into all truth.

Justification by faith is not simply a legal matter between us and God. It is “justification of life” (Rom. 5:18). We are in Christ and identified with Him. Therefore, whatever happened to Christ has happened to us. When He died, we died. When He arose, we arose in Him. We are now seated with Him in heavenly places (Eph. 2:6).

Because of this living union with Christ, we have a totally new relationship to the law of God and to sin. In order to begin to fully experience this new relationship we must know what Christ has done for us and reckon it to be so in our lives.

I. Learn The Facts (6:1-10).

To counter any wrong conclusions that might be reached because of what he had just stated at the close of chapter five, “…where sin abounded, grace did much more abound,” Paul interjects the questions, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound”? He answers the question, “God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein”? (6:1-2) Then he explains what that means.

A. We were baptized into Jesus Christ (6:3-5).

The Greek word “baptizo” {bap-tid’-zo} is used 80 times in the New Testament and means “to dip repeatedly, to immerse, to submerge (of vessels sunk); to cleanse by dipping or submerging; and to overwhelm.”

We were immersed or submerged into Jesus Christ and into His death. We were immersed or submerged into His resurrection. This is the work of the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:13, “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” We were fully identified with and made partakers of Christ’s experience. This took place at the moment of salvation. Our water baptism which came later is a mere picture of what happened to us when we believed the Gospel.

We must now realize the effects of being baptized into Jesus Christ and into his death and resurrection.

B. We were crucified with Christ (6:6-10).

Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Galatians 5:24, “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.”

The old man, that old sin nature inherited from Adam, has been crucified with Christ for the purpose of destroying the body of sin. The body of sin has been destroyed so that we are no longer slaves to sin. It is no longer our nature to sin. We have been set free.

The old man is crucified and the body of sin destroyed (v.6).

When we received Christ, we were born again. When we were born again, we received a new nature. The old man was crucified. Crucifixion is the end. The old man is done; is finished. The body of sin is destroyed. The word translated “might be destroyed” means, “to render idle, unemployed, inactivate, inoperative;” it also means, “to cause to cease, put an end to, do away with, annul, abolish; to be severed from, separated from, discharged from, loosed from…” The same word is used in 7:2 and translated, “she is loosed,” and in 7:6 translated, “we are delivered.” The body of sin is not only rendered idle, but it has been severed and separated from us.

The body of the sins of the flesh has been cut away.

Colossians 2:11, “In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:” The word translated, “putting off” is a form of the same word used in Colossians 3:9. The body of the sins of the flesh has been completely removed and separated from us.

We have put off the old man and have put on the new man.

Ephesians 4:20-24, “But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” The parallel passage is Colossians 3:9-10, “Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:”

What is the truth in Jesus that we are being taught? It is that we have put off the old man and his deeds; that we are being renewed in the spirit of our minds, and that we have put on the new man. The words translated, “that ye put off” and “seeing that ye have put off” are similar and mean, “wholly put off from one’s self, denoting separation from what is put off.” According to language experts the verbs are not in the imperative mode making them commands, but rather are second aorist participles which denotes an event that has already taken place. The same is true of the verbs translated “put on the new man.” It is something that has already been done, not something we are to do. The on going process is that of the renewing of the mind which corresponds with Romans 12:2.

We have become new creatures in Christ.

This took place at the moment of salvation. 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”  Again, this is not something that is on going but something that has been done. A miraculous change has taken place. The old man or old nature has been removed. We were “by nature the children of wrath.” That is no longer our nature. Now we are partakers of the divine nature. 2 Peter 1:4, “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” The old has been put off and the new has been put on.

We are no longer in the old flesh.

Romans 8:9, “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” We are still in the physical flesh therefore this refers to the “old man” or old nature. The verse clearly teaches that if you are saved you are no longer in that flesh.

We do not have two natures struggling inside us. When we put off the old man we laid him aside and was separated from him. We then put on the new man. We only have one left in place. We must not think of the struggle we still have with sin after salvation as coming from the old nature still resident in us. That has been removed. We must not waste our energy trying to do something that has already been done.

It is unreasonable to believe that the Holy Spirit allows the old man, the vile sinful nature to remain in His temple, since He does not tolerate a defiled temple. 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.”

The resurrection life of Christ is now our experience (6:7-10).

We can still commit acts of sin, but all excuse for sinning has been removed. We are no longer slaves to sin. We are now alive with Christ. Before the new birth we were dead to Christ and very much alive to sin. When we trusted Christ this was reversed. We immediately became dead to sin and alive to Christ. Now we can “walk in newness of life.”

II. Apply The Truth (6:11-23).

A. This begins with reckoning (6:11).

“Reckon” means “to count, compute, calculate, count over; to take into account; to pass to one’s account, to impute.” This word deals with reality. If I reckon that my bank account has $100.00 in it, it has $100.00 in it. Otherwise I am deceiving myself. This word refers to facts not suppositions.

The facts are these: We were in Adam when God created him. In him we participated (without choice of our own) in everything he did. We were in him when he chose to disobey God and bring sin and death into the world. He became a sinner, and we received his nature and became sinners. When Adam sinned, we sinned. When Adam received the curse of death, we received the curse of death. (cf. Heb. 7:8-10)

At a point in time we were born into this world and began making choices of our own. Because it was our nature it was natural for us to choose to disobey God. We did so and earned our own place in hell.

However, at another point in time we chose to believe the Gospel and receive Jesus Christ as our substitute in death so we would not have to go to hell. When we did this, God took us out of the line of Adam and placed us into the line of Christ.

We are now in Christ. That literally means that we are partakers of everything He has experienced. When He was crucified, we were in Him. When He was buried, we were in Him. When He arose from the dead, we were in Him. When He ascended back to Heaven to be seated at the right hand of the Father, we were in Him. We are, today seated with Him in the heavenly places.

We are in Him, and we are partakers of all His experiences. Whereas before, we were dead to God in trespasses and sin and alive to sin, now we are dead to sin and are alive unto God through Jesus Christ. These are the facts, and we can chose to act upon them and live by them.

The difficulty is that we usually do not feel that we are dead to sin. This is dealt with in the same way as feeling that we are saved. When we believed God’s truth about our salvation, we received the assurance of salvation and stopped trying to be saved and rested in the fact that we are saved. From time to time when we again do not feel that we are saved we come back to His promises and reckon it to be so. Then, in spite of our feelings we know that we are saved.

In the same way, we can only begin to feel dead to sin as we focus our thoughts on the truth God has just revealed to us about what He has done for us, to be enjoyed now, and believe Him. As we reckon this to be so we can actually begin to feel its effects. But we must keep in mind (or reckon) that regardless of how we feel this is still true.

B. We make choices based on what is reckoned (v.12-23).

Now that we are dead to sin and alive unto Christ the bondage and slavery of sin is broken. We can now choose to walk free. We can make the hard choices, and when we do the Lord works the victory in our lives.

Choose to stop allowing sin to rule (v.12).

Sin for the believer is a matter of yielding to our own lusts. James 1:14-15, “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”

Choose to stop yielding our members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin (v.13).

Choose to yield ourselves to God once and for all (v.13).

Luke 9:23, “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” Denying self is not self discipline. This denial requires denying self the right to rule our lives and allowing Christ to do so. This requires taking up our cross, identifying with His crucifixion. It has already happened to us. We must apply it to our lives. This requires making the simple and determined choice to follow Christ, to allow Him to have complete control of our lives.

Choose to yield our members as instruments of righteousness unto God (v.13).

The word yield is found five times in this section and means to place at one’s disposal, to present, to offer as a sacrifice. God wants our entire bodies to be yielded to Him (Rom. 12:1-2). He wants your body fully yielded to Him because it is His temple, and He wants to use it for His glory (I Cor. 6:19-20; Phil. 1:20-21).

God is not requiring us to do the work. He is asking that we supply the tools or instruments so that He can do the work through us. Therefore, there must be in the believer’s life that complete surrender of the body to Jesus Christ which gives Him the control. This is initial and has to be conscientiously and purposely done, but it is not a final surrender that means there will be no further need to surrender. This formal yielding begins the real process of spiritual maturity.

As each believer grows closer to the Lord there is need for further surrender. Actually it comes down to a moment to moment yielding to His will instead of our own. The more it is practiced the more it becomes natural to think and act in that manner. The remaining verses of this chapter give some practical reasons for making this choice.

Because of God’s grace (v.14-15)

We are no longer under the law. This means that if we violate the law we do not come under penalty of death and eternal separation from God. We are under His grace. We are in God’s favor and cannot loose that standing. If we are not yielded to Him, the knowledge of this truth can lead us to continue submitting to sin and trying to live in its short term “pleasures.” “God forbid” that we be so wicked.

Because of the freedom we can now enjoy (v.16-18)

Before we were saved, we were servants or slaves to sin and regardless of how we behaved we could not break that bondage. Now that we are saved the bondage is broken, and we can enjoy that freedom. However, if we choose to yield our members to sin we give up our freedom and become its servants again. The more we yield to Christ the more freedom we enjoy.

Because of the infirmity of the flesh (v.19-23).

This flesh is the soft substance of the living body, which covers the bones and is permeated with blood. It is the physical nature of man which is subject to suffering. It is weak. The Lord admonished the disciples in the garden, “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak (Matthew 26:41). Paul refers to this in chapter 8 and shows how the Holy Spirit helps our infirmities and prays for us.

It is helpful to have the correct concept of body and soul. Genesis 2:7, “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Typically we say, “I have a soul” when in reality we should say, “I am a living soul, I have a body.”

This infirm flesh is very important to us and is to be properly maintained, but it is not us; therefore, it must not be allowed to control all our decisions.  This concept can help in the matter of reckoning ourselves dead indeed unto sin.

If we are to experience victory over sin we must continually make the choice to yield our members as servants to righteousness. This body or flesh we live in is neutral. It is merely an instrument which we can use either to sin against God, or we can use it to obey God.

This choice is based on simple logic. What fruit did we have then in the things whereof we are now ashamed (v.21)? The fruit of sin is death. The fruit of righteousness is eternal life. We have that eternal life as a free gift. Why should we continue yielding to that which works death?

III. The Law Can Not Deliver Us (7:1-25).

Paul now turns to the Jews, who knew the law. Many of them loved the law as did Paul before he was saved. They believed that they could be right with God if they kept the law. Here Paul relates his struggle under the law. He states that the law is holy and just and good. There is nothing wrong with God’s law, but it can only show sin and condemn sin. It cannot remedy it. He begins by showing how that in Christ they are free from the law.

A. The law is no longer over us (7:1-6).

This is taught by illustration and declared to be fact. Just as the wife is freed from her husband when he dies, so were we freed from the law when we died in Christ. And because we are also raised with Him to a new life, we are now married to Him and He is our master.

B. The law is good and shows us our sin (7:7-13).

C. The law cannot deliver us from that sin (7:14-25).

There is much debate as to whether Paul’s personal account beginning in verse 14 is of his life before or after his conversion. An argument for, after his conversion, is that he uses the present tense, but we must keep in mind his intended audience, “…I speak to them that know the law….” (v.1) and his deep desire to see them saved. Romans 9:1-3, “I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:” Romans 10:1, “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.”

Changing to the present tense was merely a devise Paul employed to help win the Jew. 1 Corinthians 9:20, “And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;”

He is showing those who know the law how the law relates to the Gospel in hopes of winning the lost to Christ, and he is helping those who had already believed to understand that the law did not deliver them from sin. To do this he used the present tense and became “as under the law.” He also helps us who were Gentiles to avoid the error the Galatians made of trying to come under the law after they were saved.

Even though he uses the present tense, the statements he makes about himself when compared with what he taught in chapter six and elsewhere make it very clear that he is speaking of his experience while still under the law, before he was saved.

Paul says, “I am carnal, sold under sin” (v.14).

“Carnal” can refer to a Christian ( 1 Cor. 3:1-3), but the expression “sold under sin” cannot refer to one who has believed on Christ because we are no longer slaves to sin (Rom. 6:6-12). We have been redeemed, bought with a price, and belong to Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 6:19-20).

Redemption has three aspects. Christ came into the slave market and bought us. He took us off the market never to be sold again. He loosed us and set us free so that we are no longer slaves. This is a present reality to be enjoyed by each believer now.

Paul’s statement, “I…am sold under sin” settles the argument. He is referring to his experience before he was saved.

Paul relates the struggle he experienced and lays the blame on indwelling sin (v.15-17).

It is true that believers struggle with temptation and often do not do what we should and instead do that which is wrong and sinful, and we look for someone else to blame. But Paul is saying something like this, “I do not understand what I am doing. (The word translated “allow” means to know or perceive or understand.) I don’t know what I am doing. I intend to do right and do not do it. Instead, I do what I hate.” He said, “It is not the law that makes me do this because the law is good. It is not even me that does it. It is sin that dwells in me.”

After salvation, the Holy Spirit brings understanding to our minds so that we do allow or understand what we are doing. We stop doing the things we hate and begin doing the things we should. (Not perfectly, of course, but we find now the power to do right.) And we begin to realize that when we do that which is wrong, we can only blame ourselves. As we grow in grace we learn that indwelling sin has been removed, and its power over us broken. Neither sin nor Satan can force us to disobey God. Paul taught the Corinthians, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (1 Cor.  10:13).

Paul states that in his flesh dwells no good thing (v.18).

Again, this is not true of the believer as he has put on the new man and the Christian’s body is indwelt by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19-20).

Paul states that he was not able to find how to perform that which is good (v.18-21).

This is true of the unbeliever. “There is none that doeth good, no not one.” This is not true of the believer. Though we do not always do that which is good, we certainly find how, and we can do it. After his conversion Paul stated, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Phil. 4:13).

Paul says he delights in the law of God after the inward man (v. 22).

He was one who knew the law of God and knew that it was good and that he should be living by its commandments and delighted in it in his mind and conscience but continually failed to be able to live by it. He was ignorant of God’s righteousness and was going about to establish his own righteousness.

Some say no unbeliever delights in the law of God, but Paul’s testimony says differently. Philippians 3:4-6, “Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.” (cf. Rom. 2:17-20)

Many unbelievers do try to please God. Cornelius, an unsaved Gentile, feared God and tried to please Him. Acts 10:1-2, “There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band, A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.” This was definitely before he was saved and these actions could never save him, but his positive response toward God received God’s special attention, and He sent someone to tell them how to be saved.

Paul speaks again of his captivity to sin (v.23).

The one who is in Christ is freed from the captivity of sin (Rom. 6:1-2, 7, 11-14).

Paul cries, “…who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (v.24)

Paul then answers his own question (v.25).

He says, “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord” and then summarizes his pre-conversion experience, “So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.”

After Paul’s conversion, he no longer served the law of God. Look back at verse 6, “But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.”

Look at what he said to the Galatians. Galatians 3:24-25, “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.” When you are no longer under the schoolmaster you no longer serve the schoolmaster. (See Rom. 3:19-22; 10:4; Gal. 2:19-21; 5:1-4; Phil. 3:8-9.)

We must keep in mind that Paul is speaking to them who knew the law. He is putting himself back under the law and relating his experience that he might win them to Christ. In the next chapter he again relates the wonderful deliverance we have in Christ.

Back in verse five he made reference to when we were in the flesh. Verses 14-25 describe his experience while he was still in that condition. In chapter 8 he shows that that condition is completely changed at salvation. Romans 8:8-9, “So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”

IV. We Now Walk After The Spirit (Rom. 8:1-11).

Paul relates the wonderful deliverance we now have from the law. The flow is natural as he transitions from his experience under the law to the glorious deliverance he experienced when he came to Christ. He shows contrasts between the believer and the person who is still in the flesh and emphatically states that those who are still in the flesh cannot please God. He then concludes that the believer is no longer in the flesh but in the Spirit. The statement is one of our position not our walk. If you are saved you are not in the flesh. If you are in the flesh you are not saved.

A. The believer is no longer condemned (8:1).

B. The believer now walks after the Spirit (8:1, 4-5).

“Who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit,” is a description of the believer. It is not a condition the believer must meet. (See v. 11.)

C. The believer is spiritually minded (8:6-7).

D. The believer can please God (8:8-9).

This flesh is not our natural bodies but the old nature which has been crucified, put to death and put off.

E. The believer is alive because of the Spirit (8:10-11).

F. The believer has choices to make (8:12-18).

We must choose to not live after the flesh.

We do not owe it to ourselves to indulge in the sinful pleasures of the flesh. We owe it to Christ to keep under our bodies and bring them into subjection.

We must choose to put to death the sinful deeds of the body.

Verse thirteen reminds us again of the instruction of chapter six verse thirteen and the question asked in verse sixteen and warns us of the danger of yielding our members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin and assures us of the blessing of yielding our members as instruments of righteousness unto God. The believer can commit acts of sin. The believer cannot continuously live in sin.

Even though the old man has been removed, the enticements of the world are all around us and the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye and the pride of life constantly bombard our weak mortal bodies to lead us away from God. That is why we are commanded to “…be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (12:2).

The battle is won or lost in the mind. The habits we learned, the thought processes we developed, the philosophy of life we accepted which was contrary to God’s way must be reprogrammed. The renewing of our minds is a process. God does not instantly erase our minds and reprogram them like we erase a hard drive and reprogram it. God transforms our minds line by line a little at a time.

It is helpful to remember that we are saints. God has removed our sin and does not impute sin to us. He has imputed the perfect righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ to our account. We forever have perfect righteousness in the presence of God that cannot be tarnished. God has declared us to be saints, and He expects us to behave as saints. This begins with right thinking. Though we can sin and do sin, we are no longer sinners. We are saints.

God is conforming us to the image of Christ (8:29), and our cooperation is an important element in the speed of this transformation. The more we cooperate with Him the more Christ-like we can become before we go to Heaven. We have the mind of Christ. We must let His mind be in us.

We must behave according to who we are and what we are.

We are led by the Spirit, and we are the sons of God. We are no longer in bondage and fear. We have received the Spirit of adoption. We can call God our Father, even the endearing term “Abba, Father” which in our language is “Dad or Daddy.” The adoption makes us legal heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ. If we are truly the children of God, there will be some suffering in this life, but one day we will be glorified together with Christ.

V. We Must Rely Upon The Spirit’s Help .

He informs us that the whole creation is waiting for our manifestation (8:18-22) and encourages us to wait patiently for the redemption of our bodies (8:23-25). He helps us in our infirmities and prays for us when we do not know how to pray (8:26-27).

VI. We Must Rest In God’s Security.

A. He supervises all that touches our lives (8:28-30).

Absolutely nothing touches the life of a believer but what God orders or permits. Everything God allows to touch our lives whether good or bad He, by His infinite wisdom and power, works ultimately to our good. He is conforming us to the image of His Son, a work that will be accomplished regardless of how well we cooperate. However, the more we cooperate the more we enjoy the transformation. He reminds us that in Christ we are called, justified and glorified.

B. He allows no charges to stand against us (8:31-34).

God is for us. He proved that by allowing Jesus to die on the cross to pay for our sins. One day we will share in all that God has. In this life, no one can successfully bring any charges against us before God regardless of how we behave. We are absolutely secure in Christ. When we misbehave God deals with us as children and chastens and corrects. Our Father does not long tolerate misbehavior in His children. He is conforming us to the image of Christ.

C. He lets nothing separate us from His love (8:35-39).

The Bible makes it very clear that from the moment of salvation we are in Christ. Being in Him makes us partakers of His experience just as we were partakers of Adam’s experience. The affects of Adam’s experience made us sinners by nature. The effects of Christ’s experience have made us saints by nature.

Our personal choices to commit sins and act according to our nature while still in Adam served to intensify our judgment and punishment. And any choices to behave correctly could not remove the coming judgment because it could not change our nature.

In the same manner now, our choices to act according to our new nature and walk in newness of life serve to enhance the enjoyment of this life and increase our rewards in Heaven. And just as correct choices could not change our nature from sinner to saint; neither can wrong choices change our nature from saint to sinner.

Therefore, the only wise choice is to yield ourselves to God and our members as instruments of righteousness unto God and allow the Holy Spirit to guide us in our every action.

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